New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

of Contemporary Women's Fiction, Romantic Comedies, and Historical Romances

 

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UPDATED 02/02/10
Book Reviews

Love and the Single Heiress

The Bride Thief
Naked in New England
Whirlwind Wedding
 
Kiss the Cook
 
Red Roses Mean Love

 

 


Love and the Single Heiress

Stuffed to the brim with D’Alessandro’s trademark laugh-out-loud humor, this crowd-pleasing Regency-era romance gallops along in winning style, keeping readers in suspense until the exhilarating finish.

 

Publishers’ Weekly

 

Engrossing romance with an undercurrent of danger…keeps readers glued from the very first page. Catherine and Andrew's chemistry gives added joy, as do the chapter excerpts from the sinful advice book. LOVE AND THE SINGLE HEIRESS belongs on the keeper shelf!

                                Suan Wilson

The Best Reviews

Highly recommended…I was delightfully amused by the premise right from the opening pages…completely heartwarming.  The things Andrew does to woo Catherine melted my heart.  His ultra romantic gestures and considerate nature, coupled with his strong, masculine allure make him quite the irresistible hero. 
A well-written tale, delivering humor, emotion, and ample romance.  Don't let it go by!

                                                                                         Sandra Brill

                                                                                        Romance Reviews Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Bride Thief
Review by Publishers Weekly
 
Review by Affaire de Coeur
 
Review by Romantic Times Magazine
 
Review by Huntress Book Reviews
 
Review by The Romance Fiction Forum
 
Naked in New England Review List
Whirlwind Wedding Review List
KTC Review List
RRML Review List
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Publishers Weekly 

A passionate tale peopled with appealing characters, D'Alessandro's newest Regency-era romance (following Whirlwind Wedding) is fresh, funny and loaded with charm.

When Samantha Briggeham is mistakenly abducted by the Bride Thief (aka Eric Landsdowne, the Earl of Wesley), she comes away fascinated by the enigmatic man who has made it his mission to rescue
women from arranged marriages. The eldest of three beautiful, married sisters, bookish Sammie has consigned herself to spinsterhood and is content to explore nature and conduct scientific experiments with her 16-year-old brother, Hubert. At least, that's what she tries to convince herself. She still harbors feelings for the Bride Thief, and she is intrigued by the Earl of Wesley as well, little realizing they are one and the same.

Drawn to the earl, Sammie decides to engage in a romantic liaison with him; but when they are discovered, the earl must do the right thing and propose. Sammie, however, is torn between her desire for the earl and her resolve to remain independent. Will the Bride Thief-now hunted by rapidly growing numbers of irate fathers whose daughters are missing-attempt one more abduction to free the woman he loves from a marriage she may loathe?

Though the plot takes few uncharted turns, this entertaining romp is on par with some of the best works from seasoned authors like Julia Quinn and Stephanie Laurens.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

The Bride Thief Review List


Romantic Times Magazine

His legendary exploits have made the Bride Thief the most wanted man in England.  The daring masked rider helps young women extricate themselves from unwanted marriages -- leaving behind enraged fathers.
Eric Landsdowne, the Earl of Wesley, has reasons for saving these women…so when he hears of Samantha Briggeham’s undesirable betrothal, she becomes his next mission.  Eric has no way of knowing that Sammie has already extricated herself from the marriage.

Once Eric discovers his mistake, he returns Sammie to her family, but now fears she might be able to identify him.  In order to find out if she recognizes her masked savior, he frequents the myriad of social events she attends, now that the story of her escape has made her the Ton’s most sought after women.
Sammie is drawn to Eric and the two become friends and…slowly fall in love.  Jacquie D’Alessandro’s delightful story revs into high gear as Eric strives to hide his identity while Sammie gets closer to discovering the truth.

This charming, funny romp is destined to delight readers with its fast pace, snappy dialogue, winsome characters (especially Sammie’s inquisitive younger brother!) and the sweet yet sexy love story.  This “feel good” read brings smiles galore while tempting readers to keep turning pages.

The Bride Thief Review List

Affaire de Coeur Magazine

At twenty-six, Samantha Briggeham is considered to be on the "shelf". She is content with her life. Her three sisters are happily married and she can devote her time to helping her brother with his experiments and doing some of her own. Unfortunately, her mother has plans for Samantha - wedding plans. Without Samantha's knowledge or consent her mother has coerced her father
into betrothing Samantha to Major Wilshire, a man Samantha doesn't care for in the least. While on her way back from a visit with the Major, she leaves her carriage and coachman while she investigates some fireflies she has seen from the window. While stooping down to collect them she is suddenly grabbed about the waist and hoisted onto the lap of a masked man riding a huge black stallion.

He is "The Bride Thief". He rescues women who are being forced into unwanted marriages. What the Bride Thief does not know is that Samantha has already extricated herself from the attentions of the Major and not only are the Bride Thief's services not needed, he must now return Samantha to the safety of her home. The Bride Thief intrigues Samantha, but she is also drawn to her neighbor Eric Lansdowne, the Earl of Wesley.

Ms. D'Alessandro's debut novel RED ROSES MEAN LOVE was a triumph. Her second historical WHIRLWIND WEDDING was also excellent. Any fears that I had that Ms. D'Alessandro might not be able to sustain her high level of masterful writing have been put to rest after reading THE BRIDE THIEF. Her dialog is excellent and flows naturally. There is never a forced moment in either her dialog or her ability to create some the best and well remembered characters
in historical fiction. Ms. D'Alessandro's books are not only keepers - they are treasures.

The Bride Thief Review List


Huntress Book Reviews
(Reviewed by Detra Fitch)
Posted: http://www.huntressreviews.com/histrom.htm
5 STARS!

Samantha Briggeham was nothing like other society women. Sammie was intelligent! While other women flirted, wed, and had children, Sammie preferred being with her younger brother, Hubert, in "the Chamber (his laboratory), working on their experiments. In fact, Samantha was on the verge of a breakthrough with her's. However, her mother decided to play matchmaker and force Sammie into a marriage she did not want.

Eric Landsdowne, Earl of Wesley, was a confirmed bachelor. He never intended to marry. Yet he was also the notorious Bride Thief that everyone was after. The price on his head was constantly growing. Eric abducted women who were being forced into unwanted marriages and gave them money to begin life anew elsewhere. Samantha was the first woman who had not been happy when she was rescued.

Samantha thought the Bride Thief was a bloody pain in the arse! She did not need his help. She had already rescued herself! But she did admire what he did for the other poor women. The abduction made Sammie into the toast of the ton and she was overwhelmed by suitors. She did not want their attention! The only exception was for Lord Wesley, who paid much wanted attention to Hubert. As their attraction grew, Sammie decided that for just once in her life she would have an affair and know love!

***** Oh Readers, books get no better than this! Jacquie D'Alessandro has become one of my all time favorite authors! I read this book twice! My husband would come up to me and ask what had me chuckling. So I began sharing sections with him.

I urge all romance lovers to purchase this book! I have absolutely no doubt that you will love it! Long live Jacquie D'Alessandro! *****

The Bride Thief Review List

Romance Fiction Forum

Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, 1820

Samantha Briggeham is on the shelf and perfectly happy with her situation.  She cannot imagine being married to any of the gentlemen of her acquaintance, most of whom recoil in horror when she tries to discuss mathematics or scientific matters with them.  Convinced that no man will want to marry a plain, bespectacled, gauche, spinster bluestocking, Sammie is stunned when
her father announces she is betrothed to Major Wilshire.  But not so astonished that she agrees to the match.  Her father ignores her protests, telling her everything is already arranged.  Sammie knows that if she refuses to honor the agreement, her family will suffer from the resulting gossip and scandal.  She cannot disgrace them, but neither can she marry the pompous
major.

When he returned from the Peninsula five years ago and learned his father had forced his sister into an abhorrent marriage, Eric Landsdowne, the Earl of Wesley, vowed to help other young women in the same dire straits.  His dashing rescues of more than a dozen ladies brought the problem of forced marriages to the nation's attention -- and resulted in an enormous reward being offered for the capture of the "Bride Thief."  Now, the search for the Bride Thief has escalated to the point that Eric risks his life every time he dons his costume.  Although he has no intention of marrying, he cannot bear the thought of another woman suffering the heartache and despair that are his sister's lot.  Thus, when he hears of Miss Samantha Briggeham's plight, Eric
decides to rescues her.

And so he does…only to learn that she has already unarranged her betrothal. So now the Bride Thief must do something he has never done before:  return a woman he has rescued.  Sometimes being the most notorious man in England is more trouble than it's worth.  And sometimes it brings rewards beyond one's wildest dreams.

A light-hearted tale despite the seriousness of its underlying premise, THE BRIDE THIEF is a charming story of two lonely people who find love although neither expects it.  The characters, both main and secondary, are deftly drawn, likeable, and engaging.  Samantha is not a typical Regency era miss, but her uniqueness is part of her appeal -- for Eric and the reader.  Eric, too, is refreshingly different; instead of wallowing in guilt because he could not prevent his sister's marriage or brooding over the injustice of her situation, he is determined to help other young women in similar straits, even if the cost is his life.

Crisp dialogue and realistic interactions between the characters move the story forward at just the right pace.  Readers will enjoy the relationship between Sammie and her family, especially her younger brother.  The interactions between Sammie and Eric sizzle with passion and are, at times, delightfully unpredictable.

For a well-written, thoroughly entertaining romp through the British countryside, I highly recommend THE BRIDE THIEF.

 The Bride Thief Review List
 

Naked in New England
Review by Romantic Times Magazine
 
Review by The Romance Reader
Review by Heartstrings Website
 
Review by Détra Fitch for Huntress Book Reviews
 
 The Bride Thief Review List
Whirlwind Wedding Review List
KTC Review List
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 Review by Catherine Witmer 
for ROMANTIC TIMES Magazine

FOUR AND A HALF STARS and a TOP PICK

In an attempt to clear his artist's block, an architect goes to his friend's cabin for a working vacation.  When he arrives, he finds an extremely attractive decorator, the friend of his buddy's wife, pulling the place apart.  A bad storm traps him there, forcing him to handle their attraction to each other -- as best he can.

Jacquie D'Alessandro delights with Naked in New England, a funny yet strongly emotional tale graced by unforgettable characters, sizzling sensuality, and witty banter.  A keeper all the way.

Naked in New England List

Review by Linda Mowery 
for The Romance Reader
 www.theromancereader.com

Need a book that will tickle your funny bone, impress you with its remarkably appealing prose and make you glad you're a romance reader?  Then Jacquie D'Alessandro's Naked in New England needs to be on your To Be Bought list.

Jacquie D'Alessandro's Naked in New England is romance reading at its finest. I'd find myself rereading whole paragraphs, delighting in the images that this talented author creates. This is one story that could easily been transformed into a longer story, and I'd have relished every page. Boston architect Ryan Monroe is spending two weeks in the ‘woods' where he can get some peace and quiet so that he can work on the biggest project of his career. He's borrowed his good friend's cabin while the friend is honeymooning. Ryan's first shock is when he opens the cabin door to find the cabin empty . . . no furniture, unless you count a moose head on the wall. His second shock is to meet a raccoon in the bathroom, a critter who likes drinking Maalox and shredding paper. The third and biggest shock is finding a delectable woman in his shower. This is better than finding Goldilocks. After serious screaming and defensive maneuvers with shaving gel, Ryan calms the startled woman. They discover they've met before at the wedding of the friends who own the cabin. Instead of the peace and quiet he'd needed, Ryan realizes that he'll be sharing the cabin with Lynne Waterford who's been hired to transform the weekend cottage into something better than a fishing camp theme. Uh oh, Ryan thinks! Is she going to make it into Camp Girly Girl? A sudden torrential storm forces them to share the cabin. Each knows that the other should be off-limits but that old devil lust won't leave them alone. Forced by proximity, these two actually talk and get to know each other, finding common ground. Ms. D'Alessandro's talent shines in these episodes. Intelligence, wit, humor, joy-- it's all here and more. With a wonderful twist, Ryan is the city slicker who's bothered by crawly critters, with Lynne coming to his rescue time and again. She and her pet raccoon friend are a delight, particularly when the raccoon joins them for dinner. While this story has laugh aloud moments, I always found myself grinning when these two try to cook. Thank goodness for peanut butter, although at one point Ryan is so enthralled with Lynne that he unknowingly spreads peanut butter on his wrist. Get ready to chuckle when Ryan mistakes simmering potpourri for food and tries to eat it.

    He chewed once, then his jaw froze while his lips puckered a protest. Good God, he hadn't tasted anything so awful since he and Joey Seever had sampled the mudpies they'd made in second grade. And in truth, the mudpies were better.
Duets 56 sets a high standard, one that I'm going to use as a yardstick to measure other comedies. This is Grade-A humor, truly sparkling, with lines, scenes and whole pages that are as surprising and delightful as an unexpected IRS refund check. A Big One! --Linda Mowery
Naked in New England List

Review by C.L. Jeffries
for Heartstrings Romance Novels and Reviews
Heartstrings Website

In Jacquie D'Alessandro's Naked in New England, we're gifted with a look at how the shower scene in Psycho might have turned out if a romance writer had written the scene!  Ryan Monroe is a relationship-frustrated architect in need of a flash of creative insight.  A close friend of Ryan's offers the use of his rustic cabin for a two-week sabbatical from city life,  but fails to anticipate his new bride's plans: to have the cabin renovated in secret as a surprise wedding gift.  It's certainly a surprise to Ryan when he arrives at the cabin to find it furniture-less; a pair of black panties hanging from the moose-head on the wall; and a gloriously naked, half-crazy woman in the raccoon-ravaged bathroom.

Needless to say, Ms. D'Alessandro provides her readers with a witty and hysterical romp.  I've long been a fan of grand romantic gestures, and honey, this hero takes the cake!  Of course, our gorgeous, tightly-bunned hero does have his flaws; the great outdoors is more of a living hell than a living wonder to this "yuc" -- the heroine's term for citified yuppies, not mine!

As a packaged whole, Ms. Summers' and Ms. D'Alessandro's talent and style mesh nicely; indeed, they compliment each other not unlike those fêted marvels of comedy, Abbott and Costello.  I dare you not to crack a smile -- and the romance is divine!

Naked in New England List

Review by Détra Fitch
for HUNTRESS BOOK REVIEWS
http://www.huntressreviews.com/

Ryan Monroe now had a project that could very well be the biggest coup in his architect career and he needed quiet! When Dave got married and was leaving for his honeymoon, he gave the keys to his country cabin to Ryan. Ryan looked forward to his solitude and expected to get the project completed with no interruptions.
Lynne Waterford was an interior designer. She was a friend of the new bride, Carmen. As a surprise gift for Dave, Carmen hired Lynne to redecorate the country cabin. When Lynne stepped out of the shower she never expected to see a man staring at her as if he could eat her alive!
One of them had to go! That much was clear. But the rain storm stranded them together for the weekend. The only other company was Waldo, a mischievous and remarkably dexterous racoon, and Killer Claymore, an ax-wielding Brit of a neighbor!
(A) weekend together PLUS (B)oth Ryan and Lynne's attraction for each other EQUALS (C)haos!

***** This is one of my favorite authors! Once you read this one you will easily understand what I mean! I found this story to be hold-onto-my-side funny and extremely romantic at the same time! At work, I startled the people at the next lunch table when I burst out laughing. WHY? Glad you asked! Jacquie D'Alessandro (the author) must be a chocolate fanatic! Major Choco-holic addiction here, people! You will have to read the book to totally understand what I mean! Oh, as an added bonus, you will have a second romantic comedy (The Life Of Riley by Cara Summers) within the same covers. Two books in one! Readers, it gets NO BETTER THAN THIS! Why are you still reading this? Get to a book store and buy this book NOW! *****

Naked in New England List

 Whirlwind Wedding
Review by Kathe Robin for Romantic Times
 
Review by Rendezvous Magazine
 
Review by Morgan Paige for Od Book Barn Gazette
 
Review by Détra Fitch for Huntress Book Reviews
 
Review by Harriet Klausner
 
 The Bride Thief Review List
Naked in New England Review List
KTC Review List
RRML Review List
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 Review by Kathe Robin 
for ROMANTIC TIMES

FOUR AND A HALF STARS and a TOP PICK

In England to visit her aunt, outspoken American Elizabeth Matthews meets Austin Jamison, the Duke of Bradford, at his house party. Elizabeth's gift of second sight enables her to tell Austin that she has "Seen" the brother he believes dead.  Austin's brother William died a hero's death at Waterloo, but a blackmailer claims to have proof that William was a traitor.  Austin is cynical about Elizabeth's powers and her revelation. He does not believe in her visions, but when he does not heed her warning and is nearly killed, she saves his life at the cost of her reputation. They marry to stem the gossip.  Elizabeth brings joy and laughter into Austin's life and brightens his family's days, especially his sister's, but danger, blackmail and deception hover in the background, overshadowing their happiness.

There is warmth, humor, love and passion in the pages of this charming, suspenseful romance. Ms. D'Alessandro builds the suspense with each of Elizabeth's visions, and then tempers the tension with laugh-out-loud humor and little innuendoes. With her second historical romance, Jacquie D'Alessandro secures her place at the forefront of new and noteworthy writers.

Whirlwind Wedding Review List

Review by Rendezvous Magazine

Elizabeth Matthews and her aunt, the Countess Penbroke, have been invited to a house party at the home of Austin Randolph Jamison, the Ninth Duke of Bradford.  Her aunt hopes that by bringing her niece "out" in these surroundings, she will have some success and learn to be more comfortable in her new surroundings.  Elizabeth wants to do all that she can to please her aunt, but she is quickly embroiled in a quandry when she reveals news about Austin's missing brother, William.  In the first few pages you will have the feeling that this tale of love and happiness is going to be an extraordinary read about the Amercian bluestocking and the charming Duke.

Enjoy!  I know I did and will be on the lookout for other books by Ms. D'Alessandro.

Whirlwind Wedding Review List

 Review by Morgan Paige 
for OLD BOOK BARN GAZETTE 

Elizabeth Matthews, a bluestocking from America, escapes to Europe to hide from the ramifications of her visions that tell the future.  She promises never to ignore another vision (doing so caused harm to a loved one) and when she accidentally touches Austin Randolph Jamison, Ninth Duke of Bradford, she tells him exactly what she sees. He, of course, thinks she's nuts.  Or in cahoots with people who wish his family harm.  Despite his concerns, the two become friends.  But society finds such a friendship suspect, and they find themselves trapped in a situation which calls for marriage.
Elizabeth is a great character--fun, irrepressible in a way that most of us wish (after the fact) that we could be.  She challenges the staid London society, and particularly, sets Austin on his elegant derriere.  As Austin struggles with believing she has second sght, she's intent upon saving his brother, whom Austin believes is dead.  No matter how much Elizabeth tells Austin his brother is safe, he just can't believe.
 

I really liked this book because of the lighthearted Elizabeth.  She's a wonderful blend of responsible woman and quixotic girl.  Austin, too, is a good character, and I liked being inside his head.  Of course, sizzling sex also makes this a good read!

Whirlwind Wedding Review List

Review by Détra Fitch
for HUNTRESS BOOK REVIEWS
http://www.huntressreviews.com/

Austin Randolph Jamison, ninth Duke of Bradford, was being blackmailed! His younger brother, William, died a hero's death during his last military mission.  Someone, however, had proof stating William was a traitor to his country and wanted hush money. Austin had a Bow Street Runner investigating. The Duke also had house guests. Among them was Miss Elizabeth
Matthews. Others called her the "Colonial Upstart." She was from America, and unlike any of the other ladies he had ever known. She was able to make his sister smile (a feat in itself).  he even made him (Gasp! Say it isn't so!) laugh! Best
yet, she did not treat him like a titled man, but a regular man.
Elizabeth had the Second Sight. She knew William was not dead as everyone thought. She had a vision telling her so when she touched Austin's hand. But Austin did not believe in the Sight and thought her to be keeping secrets from him. When she saved his life (because he did not heed her vision warning), her reputation was ruined and the two had to marry. But danger still
lurked!

Author, Jacquie D'Alessandro, made instant fans with her first book "Red Roses Mean Love" last year.  Personally, I immediately placed her on my short list of 'if her name is on the cover, just buy it!' Once more she has proven me correct! "Whirlwind Wedding" is hilarious as well as romantic. I knew to keep tissues near me this time though. I laughed so hard that tears poured and my side ached! The author included some private jokes that only the couple and the reader share. This makes the story even more special! Don't expect to find this novel in the used stores!

Whirlwind Wedding Review List

Review by Harriet Klausner 
for Reader to Reader

In 1816 England, Austin Jamison, the Duke of Bradford, feels very alone in spite of hosting an event attended by over two hundred aristocrats. All Austin can think of is hiding the truth behind the death of his brother William, an alleged war hero at Waterloo, from his family and the Ton. William apparently was dealing with the French. He suddenly feels the weight of the world upon him and goes out to the gardens for air where he meets outspoken American expatriate Elizabeth Matthews, the niece of the Countess of Penbroke.

Suddenly, Elizabeth tells him that his sibling still lives as she has just seen a vision of him. Austin thinks Elizabeth is a charlatan, but wonders if his sibling could have been a traitor and therefore not even contacted his family. As she and her aunt are his houseguests for the next few weeks, Austin plans to learn the truth from her. Though he suspects her duplicity, he falls in love with her even as her visions place them in danger from unknown but perilous enemies.

WHIRLWIND WEDDING is an enchanting Regency romance with a touch of otherworldly elements that actually blends into the action-packed story line. The lead characters are a warm duet carrying baggage that leaves little room for love. The suspense grows with each foretelling that Elizabeth provides. Fans of the sub-genre will gain much pleasure from Jacquie D’Alessandro’s exciting historical romance that has a bit of a twist.

Whirlwind Wedding Review List

 Kiss the Cook
Review by Détra Fitch for Huntress Book Reviews
 
Review by Heather Nordahl for Affaire de Coeur
 
Review by Rendezvous Magazine
The Bride Thief Review List
Naked in New England Review List
Whirlwind Wedding Review List
RRML Review List
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Review by Détra Fitch
for HUNTRESS BOOK REVIEWS
http://www.huntressreviews.com/modern.htm

Christopher Bishop was an accountant who just made partner. He was looking forward to a few wild bachelor years. The last thing he wanted was a serious and long time romance! That was, until he met Melanie Gibson (aka Mel Gibson). He soon figured out that wild years did not mean he had to to be single.  Mel did not need, was not looking, and did not want a romance with anyone! That went double for men as sexy looking as Chris! Men that looked that good should be illegal! She tried to turn him down...honest! But Chris was determined to change Mel's mind about dating him. He intended to show her that when love came around you had no choice but to MAKE time!

*** Men like this are down right sinful! Jacquie D'Alessandro has written a funny and romantic story that readers will fall in love with from the first page! Fair warning here...DO NOT open the front cover of this one until you have time to read the whole thing. You will not be wanting to put it down.  Excellent and highly recommended! ***

KTC Review List

Review by Heather Nordahl
for Affaire de Coeur
As Jacquie D'Allessandro's hilarious tale opens, Melanie  Gibson (yes, her nickname is Mel), a chef and owner of a takeout restaurant, is making a delivery of a fried chicken dinner to a law firm.  The order has been cancelled, but she doesn't know it .  When no one answers her knock, she brings it back to her car, which won't start.  She had double-parked when making the delivery, blocking in Christopher Bishop's car.  The handsome accountant is steamed but tries to help her out.  While trying to start her car, his pants are ripped by a  spring in her seat.  He ends up driving her home in exchange for a chicken dinner . . . and this is just the beginning of a wacky courtship, in which one article of clothing is ruined  in each encounter!

This story works on so many levels.  Melanie and  Chris are believable, multidimensional characters.  Melanie's spry, wisecracking Nana and Chris' matchmaking mama  add humorous color to the tale, which snaps along at breakneck pace.  And humorous and dramatic moments are handled equally well.

Bon Appetit!

KTC Review List

Review by Rendezvous Magazine
A bad hair day has Melanie Gibson, owner of the Pampered Palate, which serves gourmet chicken to go, meeting the sexiest man she's ever seen. Christopher Bishop's job as partner in an accounting firm is very demanding, but something about Mel has him anxious to finish his work and play with her. Chris knows his firm was hired to provide the bank with the information they need to grant Mel her loan for expanding her business. When he learns that the loan has been turned down, he's afraid of what will happen to them if Mel finds out he's responsible for destroying her dream.

KISS THE COOK is Ms.  D'Alessandro's first foray into the contemporary genre. It has the humor, sometimes subtle and sometimes laugh out loud, that will endear readers to this author. Pulsating with sexual tension and a cast of marvelous characters whose diaglog is fresh and filled with passion, this delicious tale is a definite keeper.

KTC Review List

Red Roses Mean Love
Review by Cathy Sova for The Romance Reader
 
Review by Kathe Robin for Romantic Times Magazine
 
Review by Nan H. Doporto for Affaire de Coeur
 
Review by Kathee S. Card for Reader to Reader
 
Review by Rendezvous Magazine
 
Review by Harriet Klausner
 
Review by Détra Fitch for Huntress Book Reviews
 
Review by Charlene Hess for Old Book Barn Gazette
 
Review by Writers Club Romance Group
 
The Bride Thief Review List
Naked in New England Review List
Whirlwind Wedding Review List
KTC Review List
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Review by Cathy Sova 
for The Romance Reader
 www.theromancereader.com
 
Red Roses Mean Love is the first novel by Jacquie D'Alessandro, and as I closed the cover (in the wee hours of the morning, I might add) my reaction could be summed up in one word.

Wow.

What a stunning debut this is. Funny, lush, sensuous, intriguing - hang whatever kudos you want on it, it's an outstanding read, and historical romance readers absolutely will not want to miss it.

Stephen Barrett, Marquess of Glenfield and heir to a dukedom, is riding to his country lodge when he's attacked and shot from his horse. Left for dead, Stephen is rescued by Hayley Albright and her two servants. She takes Stephen to her family home, Albright Cottage, and cares for him until he awakens. Stephen is sure that someone is out to murder him. He decides to pass himself off as "Stephen Barrettson", tutor, until he can recover his strength and make his way back to London surreptitiously. His friend and brother-in-law, Justin Mallory, will begin investigating. Stephen's own brother is a prime suspect.

Hayley is nothing like any woman Stephen has ever known. Six feet tall, but with a lovely face, she cheerfully cares for her younger brothers and sisters and one deaf auntie, managing the household left in her care after her father's death. Captain Tripp Albright was renowned for his seamanship. The tales he told of his adventures have afforded Hayley an income, although from secret means. The children are rambunctious enough, but added to the mix are three servants from her father's ship: Grimsley,
the valet, Winston, a sea dog with salty language, and Pierre, a temperamental French cook. Throw in three huge dogs named Winky, Pinky, and Stinky, and it's a household totally unlike anything Stephen has ever experienced. This isn't proper.

Proper or not, it's not long before the family begins breaking through Stephen's carefully-constructed walls. In the Albrights Stephen sees all the warmth and love missing from his own upbringing. But he's a dissolute marquess with a string of mistresses behind him, plus he's lied to Hayley from the start. What will happen if he allows her to love him? Eventually he'll have to leave. And there's still someone out to kill him.

What lifts this book above the ordinary is the humor flowing throughout the story. Small scenes here and there will have readers laughing out loud. Stephen forced into a tea party with six-year-old Callie, and finding he can't get out of the small chair he's stuffed himself into. Stephen admonishing Hayley for her sibling's behavior, and getting the dressing-down of his life. Winston and Grimsley, whose constant bickering disguises a great friendship.

And yet, the climax is as heart-tugging as any reader could wish. The sexual tension sizzles between Stephen and Hayley, and there is one scene in the library that is nothing short of breathtaking in its simplicity and emotional punch. It's obvious the author cared deeply about these characters, and readers will, too.

Nothing about Red Roses Mean Love suggests it's a first novel. Witty, stylish, and endearing, it's one of the best books I've read this year.

Let's hope Ms. D'Alessandro has many more up her sleeve.

RRML Reveiw List

Review by Kathe Robin 
for Romantic Times Magazine
 www.romantictimes.com
 
While riding through the forest, Lord Stephen Barrett is attacked and severely wounded. Fortunately, he is found by Hayley Albright, a lively, loving and kind young woman who takes him home.  Stephen claims he's a tutor who would be happy to teach Hayley's siblings while solving the mystery of the attack.  The eclectic members of the household soon take to Stephen and he quickly becomes part of the family.  But Stephen is overwhelmed by his strong attraction to Hayley, the bright ray of sunshine who maintains her home and lovingly cares for everyone with a free-spirited good nature. He leaves Hayley, firm in his belief that it is for the best. But is it?

How these endearing lovers are brought together makes for a romance filled with warmth, charm and a wonderful freshnesss that is sure to captivate readers. Ms. D'Alessandro brings new verve to the genre.

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Review by Nan H. Doporto 
for Affaire de Coeur
http://www.affairedecoeur.com

Stephen Alexander Barrett, Marquess of Glenfield, was shot and left for dead beside a byway outside of London.  He conceals his identity when he is found and taken by Hayley Albright to her home.  There she nurses him back to health.  During his recovery he is introduced to a different world.  Hayley's family welcomes him into their midst.  He learns the language of flowers and the language of the heart.  He learns Hayley's secret, while hiding his own.  He must leave his heart and this
delightful family to find his enemy, the man who wants to kill him.

Jacquie D'Alessandro has taken a simple tale, embellished it and turned it into something special.  She took the normal and ordinary and made it special.  A young aristocrat who had never shaved himself finds that he must learn that and other common tasks while living with an impoverished but loving family of a deceased sea captain.  Full of charm and love and laughter, Red Roses Mean Love is a delightful read.

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Review by Kathee S. Card 
for Reader to Reader
http://www.newandusedbooks.com

Dell Books - September 1999
Historical Romance (Humorous)
London and Kent Countryside, England - 1820

Someone wants Stephen Barrett, the eighth Marquess of Glenfield dead, and almost succeeds with a bullet that topples him from his horse, plunging him down a steep hill to lie unconscious, half-submerged in the icy waters of a stream. Returning from market Hayley Albright notices a riderless horse and goes to investigate. With the help of two cantankerous family retainers she manages to bring Stephen home to Albright Cottage. The death of her parents left her with little money and the responsibility to rear two sisters and two brothers, but her unconventional methods and warm acceptance of life’s foibles brings warmth and light into every situation, including the near death of a man who keeps his identity a secret.

Stephen has no intentions of endangering the lives of those who generously opened home and heart to him in his time of need, but in all of his days he never expected to have so much fun recuperating. Everyday brings new adventures, orchestrated by his own personal "angel," Hayley Albright, opening a world of feelings and love that are as new to him as the morning sun. Stephen knows he should not, can not, fall in love, but no matter how hard he tries it is to no avail. Hayley steals his heart, leaving him no recourse but to flee the Kent countryside and return to London in an attempt to discover the person that seeks his death.

RED ROSES MEAN LOVE is the kind of book you want to hug! I adored the entire family of Albrights with their eccentricities, joi-de-vive, comic antics, and family loyalties. Watching Stephen blossom under the growing bonds of familial acceptance warms the heart and brings a tear to the eye. Hayley is a heroine to emulate, with qualities that we all wish we possessed in the same abundance as she. More a slice-of-life then a plot, we follow day-to-day experiences until Stephen leaves abruptly for London. Once again the mystery arises and carries our hero and heroine into danger and finally back into each other’s arms. A truly delightful story that ends far too soon, since we want to keep sharing all the silly mishaps of this delicious group.
Very Highly Recommended

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Review by Rendezvous Magazine 

Stephen Barrett, Marquess of Glenfield, races his horse through the forest, desperate to evade the men chasing him.  He is shot. He tumbles from his horse and down a steep embankment into a stream.  Hayley Albright and two members of her household find him.  As he is nursed back to health by Hayley, he realizes that he can't tell her who he really is for fear of putting her and her family in jeopardy from the men who tried to kill him.  He tells them he is a tutor who was beset by highwaymen.  As he recovers, he comes to realize what a bizarre family he has come upon.  Bizarre, yet wonderfully special.

Ms. D'Alessandro has written one of the most humorous, heartwarming, loving books that it has been my pleasure to read. Every minute spent with this family is enjoyable. Well written characters and excellent plotting. Thus marks Ms. D'Alessandro's writing debut. Her first outing is a triumph!

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 Review by Harriet Klausner 
for Reader to Reader
http://www.newandusedbooks.com

In 1820, Lord Stephen Barrett flees London to escape the assailants trying to kill him. By the time he reaches the suburbs, he figures he and his few loved ones are safe. However, to his amazement, the hired goons catch up to him and shoot him. The hoodlums, watching Stephen plunge into the nearby freezing water, leave thinking their victim is dead.

While driving her gig, Hayley Albright notices an unconscious person. With the help of a servant, she brings home the injured individual to help him heal from his wounds. As he recuperates, Stephen pretends to be a tutor. However, the open display of love and caring amidst the Albright household including servants stuns Stephen. He wants the same for his own family. Even more shocking, Stephen begins to care for the precocious Albright children. He also falls in love with his Hayley, who runs the loving lunatic farm that he wants to join. However, Stephen concludes he is not worthy and leaves when he feels Hayley is beginning to return his love. Stephen knows he must first deal with an unknown assailant before anyone he loves becomes a victim of a killer.

Regency romance fans will simply love RED ROSES MEAN LOVE because the jocular story line smoothly blends an entertaining mystery within a warm romance. The characters are an enjoyable lot.  As a new sub-genre force, Jacquie D’Alessandro provides the audience with tidbits that bring the period to life. The myriad of wonderful often wacky relationships will remind the audience of a regency version of YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU. Readers will ardently want Ms. D’Alessandro to provide sequels starring secondary characters who make this book an enjoyable reading experience.

A prediction: In the years to come Jacquie D’Alessandro will become a household name for lovers of the romance genre.

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Review by Détra Fitch 
Huntress Book Reviews
http://i.am/huntress

Someone had hired thugs to assassinate Lord Stephen Barrett. The second attempt almost succeeded. Hayley Albright finds Stephen close to dead in the woods and takes him to her home to recover. Stephen pretends to be a tutor. With the help of his brother-in-law, Stephen decides to lay low at the Albright house for awhile and recover in hopes the culprit can be found. Hayley's parents were years dead. Her father had died without leaving the family with much funds. Hayley, being the oldest, took control. She had to take care of five siblings and a staff. As Stephen recovered, Hayley had unknowingly shown him all that was missing in his life. Hayley's love of her family showed in everything she did. The entire family treated Stephen as one of them, instead of as a stranger. But soon, Stephen would have to return to his own world and face a killer. Hayley had her own secret: how she paid the bills.

***Everyone simply HAS to read this one! I chuckled all the way through it! I laughed out loud several times and twice had to stop to wipe the tears out of my eyes from laughing so hard! This is Jacquie D'Alessandro's debut novel. Dell Publishing was wise enough to quickly snatch up the rights to this author's second novel. With this one book, she has hit my tiny list of authors which I automatically purchase without reading the back first. If it has the name Jacquie D'Alessandro on it, it's guaranteed to please!***

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Review by Charlene Hess 
for Old Book Barn Gazette

Stephen Barrettson, out of work tutor, has a secret.  Actually, he has several.  He isn't Stephen Barrettson, he isn't a tutor and he's never worked a day in his life.  In truth, he's Lord Stephen Barrett, the eight marquess of Glenfield...and someone would very much like to see him dead.  Just who that someone is, Stephen doesn't know.  He is certain, however, that the killer isn't Miss Hayley Albright.  Hayley is the self-sufficient country woman who saves his life and nurses him back to health.  Unbeknownst to her, she also offers the perfect hideout from the killer.  But, day after day, life with Hayley and her colorful kin is a complete and drastic change from the strict, lonely upbringing Stephen has known all his life.  The entire household is askew from his idea of what "normal" should be, and Hayley just doesn't behave the way Stephen expects an 1820's Englishwoman to act.  This leaves him all the more vulnerable to the romance of love.  Stephen has a hard time trusting the natural loving this colorful household openly shows him.  Before he realizes it, he's helplessly in love with Hayley and her lively family.  And they fall in love with him...almost too easily to his way of thinking.  There's also the matter of the killer waiting for a perfect chance to complete the task of murdering him.  How can Stephen confess his lies without hurting those he loves and possibly placing them in deadly danger as well?

This tender romance read very well.  The antics of Hayley's colorful, hodgepodge family adds a lighthearted touch to a clever plot full of romance and fun.  This new author offers a very pleasing read.

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 Review by Writers Club Romance Group 

Hayley Albright is not your average woman -- (but after all, what respectable romance heroine is?).  With the death of her famous sea captain father a few years ago, Hayley has been the head of her motley crew -- which includes four younger siblings; handyman Winston and the "butler," Grimsley, two salty sea dogs formerly in her father's employ; Aunt Olivia; and a temperamental French chef, Pierre (also late of her father's employ).  [On a] return trip from London (with Winston and Grimsley in tow), [Hayley] happens across Stephen Barrett, the Marquess of Glenfield and heir to a dukedom, lying face down in a ravine, bleeding from a gun shot wound.  Stephen knows that the person who has been trying to kill him these past few months has indeed come very close to the deed this time, and if knowledge of his recovering health were made known, that person might finish the job the next time.  While recuperating under the care of the Albright family, Stephen decides to go incognito -- presenting himself as a tutor with no family.  Unfortunately, Stephen did not bargain that his nursing angel is fluent in Latin, as she finds time to tutor the children regularly, among her endless list of chores.  Although engaged at one time, Hayley, at twenty-three now is obviously on the shelf, even if she didn't have her menagerie to care for.  Besides, who would want a plain-faced woman who stands six feet tale in her stockings, rides astride, and is known to wear britches from time to time!
As Stephen is drawn deeper under Hayley's beguiling spell of innocence and goodness, he knows that the day will soon come when he must again take up his place in society -- a place that could not include this band of misfits, no matter how congenial they were.  Not to mention, there is a killer lurking somewhere waiting for him when he returns to London.

You will definitely enjoy this incredibly romantic tale, which starts off with pansies (friendship) and ends with a gift of a bouquet -- tulips for consuming love, camellias for loveliness perfected, and red roses for love.

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